Blitt made it out of the dress shop in under an hour, more time than he intended to spend pseudo shopping. He had to make a convincing show, however, so that Stacy wouldn’t kick him out of her shop and tip-off Priscilla that she had a creepy stalker asking about her.
Blitt thought about how much of a shame it was that Priscilla would never get to wear the dress he bought for her on some fancy night out around Melbrook. She would be leaving the town that night, with either him or Briggan, possibly never to return. Something told him that the relatively easy life she had been living for the past two years was about to change drastically. And, of course, his also. He thought of the recent past in which they had both enjoying periods of relative peace, sandwiched between bitter-sweet slices of life in a chaotic world. Blitt, running himself ragged on missions for Danathan, and she committing crimes beneath the watchful eye of Dade Briggan.
The ocean wind stirred against him gently as he walked towards the mag-sled. He became aware of something, cold and weighty, separate and distant from the warm ocean breeze, washing over him. It seemed to be focused almost squarely at the center of his forehead, an intangible thought nagging him, pestering to get at the inside his head instead of coming out of it.
Despite its persistence, the experience was not unpleasant. It was momentary, lasting less than a second, just enough time for Blitt to notice it. But for something so brief and barely noticeable, it carried an immensely powerful feeling which Blitt realized, as the thought penetrated his skull and transmuted its way through fibrous brain material and into his consciousness, was a confirmation being sent to him by Priscilla.
His mind relaxed, and immediately referenced the shoot-out at the chop shop and how Priscilla had stood completely still, eyes glazed over and palms outstretched, as she broke his nanotech with an arcane rupture of sonic waves by merely thinking about it.
The wondered if the strange thought he was ‘feeling’ was a result of something similar that Priscilla had done? He knew little about the ways of The Keepers, other than that you never wanted to encounter one in combat unprepared. Priscilla’s use of the power had taken Blitt by surprise, while he was unprepared both for reuniting with her and for scrapping with a mind-bending witch dead set on killing him. There were methods to defend against the Keeper’s art, but most of them were as arcane and unpredictable as the powers themselves. Also, most were rather devious in nature, not anything that he could bring himself to employ upon someone that he cared for.
Blitt didn’t feel malice in what he had just experienced, though. Much like how he had noted a glimmer of regret shining back at him through her vengeful eyes while she fired slugger rounds at him, he felt as though there was still hope that perhaps Priscilla didn’t hate him as thoroughly as he originally imagined.
Now he had to put that theory to a dangerous test.
First though, was Blitt’s primary crisis, the candy shipment. Unfortunately, it was incapable of telepathically informing him of how his attempt to acquire it might turn out. So Blitt planned on utilizing the sort of powers that were familiar to him – quick thinking, quick hands and feet, and the clever use of some really fun weapons.
* * *
It was nearing mid-day, and Blitt couldn’t just make a cold approach through the warehouse’s front entrance and have a look around. From a distance, the building seemed little different than the online layouts suggested. Beyond a chicken wire gate there was a large parking lot and the humongous rectangular building, looming in the distance like a giant beast tauntingly hoarding treasure.
The meager security was a warning to Blitt. By itself, it was the sign of an amateur design, but taken in contexts that Blitt knew to be true, namely that the place was owned by one of the most rich and dangerous men in the world and happened to have something of value hidden within, lax security was a glaring red “no trespassing” sign.
Blitt wondered what hidden security measures were present as he guided the mag-lev sled around the corner once more, onto the street facing the building’s main entrance. He did not want to risk another loop around the facility, for fear of triggering some sort of behavioral algorithm lurking within the programming of whatever hidden security systems might have been in place there. Twice around was risky enough, but three times was sure to seem suspicious to any monitoring systems scanning the area for out of the ordinary activity. He was sure that Briggan had put the entire place on high alert, so this was his final chance to put things into place for his attempt at taking the shipment later that night.
Part of that plan was to cover his approach by utilizing holographic decoys that would draw attention away from himself as he infiltrated the facility. Already Blitt had deployed a half-dozen tiny devices about the location, surreptitiously dropped from a compartment on the bottom of the mag-sled as he circled the area. Low-power using projectors, they would likely go unnoticed by any possible scanner sweeps throughout the day, and they were almost imperceptible to the human eye. Together they would work in tandem with other devices that Blitt planned on bringing along with him to create confusion and mayhem while he slipped inside unnoticed.
He hoped that his preparations were enough. Blitt would have liked time to prepare more thoroughly, to wear down Brigan’s patience but he figures that by now the old man had to be aware that Blitt was able to track the package. Blitt needed to act fast. Briggan wouldn’t let it stay around if he was capable of moving it. Tonight was his only chance, possibly even sooner if Priscilla decided to resist him.
Shit, he realized, she’s a liability no matter how things turn out. the words became pictures in Blitt’s mind as he pondered the dangers posed by his emotional connections to her. There were things, though, that Blitt always considered essential, and Priscilla, his past with her, and her well-being was one of those things. That thought immediately connected him to Danathan. While not essential in the same sense that Priscilla was, Blitt would be a fool not to consider his employer’s motivations and intentions. And in this case, absolutely nothing that Danathan Dowells was doing made sense. Yet, trust was a factor almost as compelling as love, and Blitt was not yet ready to try to make any sense of the strangeness that he had encountered during the past two days.
He checked status of the tiny modules that he had just deployed about the warehouse, and seeing they were ‘OKAY,’ uploaded his custom script to their memories as he drove off to meet with Priscilla at the dress shop on Bridge Street.